I went to an ear specialist yesterday. He did what ear specialists do: he looked in my ears (they look healthy) and did the ol' press the button when you hear the beep test (My hearing is normal though I have some high frequency hearing loss in my left ear). Then they did a test I'd never heard of before. The sat me in a comfy easy chair, plugged some ear phones in my ear and attached an electrode to my forehead. They darkened the room, asked me to relax, and then blasted load buzzing clicks in my ears. This tests the circuitry between my ear and my brain. Apparently some ear ringing can be caused by a tumor on this connection. There was no evidence of a tumor.
The doctor looked at the results, looked at me, then told me to get used to it. Apparently everyone has background noise in their auditory system. It's called Tinnitus. I happen to have a lower sound-to-noise ratio. Since everything looked okay, there was not much I could do about it except turn the TV or radio up to drown it out. Poop.
The doctor did say that stress can sometimes cause or exacerbate tinnitus. All the stress we had earlier this year, with the Wife's medical issue, the passing of the Wife's Aunt, the selling of the house, and the moving to a new state, probably has contributed to the ringing. The stock market and the economic news hasn't helped much either.
I'd take up meditation if this ringing in my ear wasn't so distracting.